Genre: Romance Fiction

+Blog Book Tour+ “I Looked for the One My Heart Loves” by Dominique Marny, a French literary novel in translation!

Posted Friday, 5 September, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 5 Comments

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I Looked For the One My Heart Loves by Dominique Marny

I Looked for the One my Heart Loves Blog Tour via France Book Tours

Published By: Publishers Square , 12 August, 2014

a publishing partner of Open Road Integrated Media, Inc 

Twitter: (@OpenRoadMedia)Facebook

Originally Published as:

J’ai cherché celui que mon coeur aime  (I Sought Him Whom my Soul Loves)

{ IF I may add a small note on the titles: the original title in direct English translation suits this novel! }

(by Presses de la Cite), 2011

Available Formats:  Paperback, Ebook

Translated by:  Jean Charbonneau

Author Connections: Site | Facebook

Converse on Twitter: #ILookedForTheOneMyHeartLoves & #FranceBT

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “I Looked for the One My Heart Loves” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher Open Road Media, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

+Blog Book Tour+ “I Looked for the One My Heart Loves” by Dominique Marny, a French literary novel in translation!I Looked For the One My Heart Loves
by (Translator) Jean Charbonneau, Dominique Marny
Source: Publisher via France Book Tours

Anne and Alexis are separated by war as children and reunited later by destiny. A powerful and dramatic love story that spans decades in spite of its seeming impossibility.

Anne, 9, and Alexis, 11, grow up together in the Montmartre area of Paris. While she has a major crush on him, he merely sees her as his friend’s little sister. After WWII begins, the two are separated as their families flee Paris to avoid the German occupation. When they say goodbye, Alexis promises to always protect Anne.

Anne holds on to this promise for years as she constantly thinks of Alexis, wondering where he may be. Anne grows up, finds works in an art gallery, and marries a kind, devoted man with whom she has two children. But her heart still belongs to Alexis and she never stops looking for him. Their paths cross fatefully one day in Brussels many years after they were separated.

Alexis, living in Canada and soon to be moving to San Francisco, has a family of his own; a wife in constant depression and a son. Despite their responsibilities to family and the geographical distance that keeps them apart, Anne and Alexis find a way to love one another, secretly yet passionately.

But after all this time, will they ever manage to be truly together, completely?

Places to find the book:

Genres: Contemporary Romance


Published by Open Road Integrated Media Inc, Publishers Square

on 12th August, 2014

Pages: 384

Author Biography: Dominique Marny 

Dominique Marny was raised in a family that loves art, literature, adventure and travels. In addition to being a novelist, she is a playwright, screenwriter, and writes for various magazines.

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A shortened & condensed reading of a World War:

One of the gifts Marny gives her readers is a shortened and condensed reading of a World War, by attaching a full historical enriched scope of the French side of World War II. Knitted into the arc of the chapter which begins in 1939 is an intact re-creation of all the pertinent moments which had the most impact on French families and citizens. She approached this section of her novel with an intensity yet intermixed a warmth of hope and love of family, as she focuses on Anne as a central figure to highlight the discrepancies as you would observe them. By focusing on Anne during this time, we see the war through the eyes of an innocent child whose wishful thinking and dreams are nearly curtailed by the haunting realities of what war can bring into your world view.

Marny does a considerable job at bringing us right into the heat of the bombings flying over Paris to the lesser known anguished moments of separation from school friends and the family members who live too far away to commute to see when living under German occupation. I appreciated seeing everything Anne saw and breathing in a side of the war I had not yet felt touched in other stories.

My Review of I Looked for the One My Heart Loves:

As the story opens centered on a family living in France on the fringes of World War II developing into their lives, we peer into the young life of Anne, of whom we greeted at a cemetery decades later before warming into her years of childhood. The transitional shift left me curious to know not only of whom the grave marker belonged too, but who the curious stranger was in front of her visiting the same grave! As a young child, Anne felt the full measure of anguished sorrow for how a new Great War would impact her life and the ones she cared about the most. She was at the impressionable age where knowing about what feared adults was enough to fear a child. Her brother Bernard was like a typical brother, bent on teasing his sister and tormenting her with either embarrassment in front of their peers or telling her things she would rather not know at all. The two were caught up in the tides of a changing world – where freedom and the sanctity of family would be tested.

The mass exodus out of Paris into safer areas of France is depicted with equal measures of heightened alarm for safety and the arduous tension in walking or biking hours at at time reach a destination. Although I had known Paris and London were left behind for only those who could brave the war which arrived on their doorsteps, I had not yet read of what Parisians had gone through during the developing days leading into World War II. I have oft read war dramas from the perspective of the British during this war, and therefore, am a bit remiss on knowing more about the French. When I read Letters from Skye, I learnt a great deal about the front lines and the intensity of staying hopeful amidst uncertainty.  Marny and Brockmole have a way of placing us into the heart of the French people and the plight of France during the war itself in such a way as to feel as though we lived the hours ourselves.

The entire first section of this novel is a beautiful eclipse of how war affects a young girl and how her life is different by living through war as it altered her neighbourhood and disrupted the lives of everyone she knew. She held a candle lit for the young boy she held an infatuation of concern for during the bombings of Paris; never knowing where his family had fled a few years before when Paris was starting to feel the blitz of the bombers. The bond she felt for Alexis and the growing love she knew was in her heart for him is what helped her endure. She cast her thoughts on his own well-being and although they lived apart during the war, her spirit was tied to his.

After the war, Anne started to fuse her passion for art into a passionate career, all the while curious about where Alexis had gone inside his own life’s adventure. She was not one who strove to entertain the idea of marriage, but rather was found in the throes of loving a man who genuinely loved her in return. Her life took on a rhythm part of her choosing and part of choosing to live a life that might become expected of her to curate. Because she elected to make choices in her life based on where society and convention were guiding her to tread, she ended up closing the door on her own heart’s desire. Anne’s life because a swirling sea of art acquisitions and galley showings featuring artists both renowned and starting out to gain an audience. As the years started to encompass her hours, even motherhood did not tether her heart to happiness.

It was always a nudge inside her mind that she had missed something, or rather that she had missed the opportunity to be with someone she always felt was more her equal and her other half. Alexis was only a boy when they departed from each others’ lives, yet the candle that once flickered for him turnt into a fiery flame renewed through happenstance which led them into that daring twist of fate where deciding which path you take in life can either be your downfall or your unexpected blessing.

I was a bit betwixt myself as I read this novel if I agreed with her choice to follow after Alexis; and I credit this vacillation to a previous novel I read in August Lemongrass Hope, of whose thematic of choice parallels I Looked for the One My Heart Loves. In many ways, what left me feeling a bit aghast is that the lead character in Lemongrass Hope found beauty and joy inside being a mother – to consider leaving her children even if she had chosen to live a different life than she dreamt for herself was a cross she was not willing to bear, yet the path she chose to live was one that surprised me in the end. Anne on the other hand is career-driven and is not willed to her children as Kate was to hers and this in of itself shows the differences within motherhood and the connection a mother shares with her children. However, for me personally, I felt Anne came off more self-centered and selfish than Kate, as Kate was caught between fate and true love. Anne never had the luxury of experiencing what Kate had with Ian, and therefore, in this instance I sided with Francois over Anne. On a lot of levels, Francois and Anne were identical to each other: each were dedicated to their professions to where they approached marriage and children second to their career.

Lemongrass Hope matches this novel for exploring the fragility of the human heart and the yearnings of a powerful mind bent on pursuing its own convicting motivation. For me, although I enjoyed reading this novel, I found myself a bit wanton of wanting to dig back into Lemongrass Hope. In a lot of ways I felt Impellizzeri had won me over for how she handled the truism of a conflicted heart and soul. Whereas Marny gave me a breath of insight into the French who survived the war and the carefree approach to living I always felt the French embraced as a celebration for life itself.

On writing a unique Romance set against time, memory, and war:

I appreciated the honesty and raw emotions that Marny stitched into her novel, as she has written a very unique Romance set against time, memory, and war. The initial reactions I felt to the story of Anne and Alexis were two people caught up in each others’ lives who drifted apart out from war. Yet, when I soaked into the story, I started to see the complexity of understanding who we choose to love and who we might have let go from our life without realising they were the ones our heart had chosen to love before our mind even realised the connection. Both of Marny’s characters made choices to marry against their own will in some ways, because neither was quite ready for what marriage would bring into their life.

The honesty within their thoughts and the actions they took after their reconnection warmed me to their story, because life as in fiction, choices can determine the fate of where we end up in our lives. And, not everything is straight-up right nor wrong, there are in-between places as well. The one I felt a bit sorry for in the story were Anne’s husband Francois, who truly loved Anne in a way she could not quite reciprocate. This is not merely a Romance novel but a literary novel centered on human emotions and the conflictions of understanding the line between desire and adultery.

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Meet Dominique Marny via OpenRoadMedia

Inspired to Share:

I always appreciate seeing a video about an author I am about to read, and in this one I appreciated getting to know someone who speaks a different language than I do, because through the sub-titles and the way in which Ms. Marny describes the story she’s written, I felt connected in a way that would lend a curiosity to read her novel. I hope you appreciate seeing her inside this short introduction as much as I had originally.

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Virtual Road Map for 
I Looked for the One My Heart Loves” Blog Tour:

I Looked for the One my Heart Loves Blog Tour via France Book Tours

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Be sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:

France Book Tours

 via my
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{SOURCES: Cover art of “I Looked for the One My Heart Loves”, book synopsis, author photograph of Mr. Malaval, author biography, and the tour host badge were all provided by France Book Tours and used with permission. The introduction video of author Jean-Paul Malaval by Open Road Media & Bordeaux travelogue by TravelTherapyTV had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Bookish Events & France Book Tours badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “I Looked for the One My Heart Loves”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Friday, 5 September, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Aftermath of World War II, ARC | Galley Copy, Art, Art History, Author Interview, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Family Drama, France, France Book Tours, French Literature, French Novel Translated into English, French Resistance, Geographically Specific, Good vs. Evil, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Military Fiction, Romance Fiction, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Singletons & Commitment, The World Wars, War Drama, War-time Romance

+Blog Book Tour+ Willow Springs by Carolyn Steele #PureRomance a debut from Cedar Fort Publishing & Media!

Posted Sunday, 24 August, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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 Willow Springs by Carolyn Steele

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Official Author Websites:  Site | @CarolynSteeleUT | Facebook

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #WillowSprings OR #CarolynSteele

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Acquired Book By: 

I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Willow Springs” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

This particular book launches the new “Pure Romance” line of Inspirational Romance from Cedar Fort! I have a long-standing appreciation of reading inspiring stories of Romance (i.e. one of my original beloved stories was Frontier Lady by Judith Pella; you can read more on my review of Chain of Mercy) whether they are individual novels or novellas in print editions (i.e. Heartsong Presents or Love Inspired series),… I simply love being wrapped inside the lift of joy and spirit of a spiritual-centered romance! When I realised this was going to be the launch of a new series of novels, I simply could not pass up the chance to get to know this line from day one – forward! Besides, I have a soft spot for Westerns — if it has to do with the Frontier American small townes or life on the emerging frontier itself, there is a strong chance I’ll settle inside the story! Hence why I always loved watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman! (until the writing went a bit off-kilter in the latter seasons!)

One bit of an interesting connection to the story, is that part of my ancestry lies in Sweden! To read about a Swedish immigrant who was attempting to carve out a new life for herself felt like a natural fit for me! I always love reading stories that form connections to my ancestral past. Little snippets of insight I might not otherwise have had the pleasure of finding revealed.

+Blog Book Tour+ Willow Springs by Carolyn Steele #PureRomance a debut from Cedar Fort Publishing & Media!Willow Springs
by Carolyn Steele
Source: Direct from Publisher

Husbands. Crissa had to suppress a shudder at the thought. If I had wanted a husband, I would have stayed in Boston. Indeed, Crissa considered Willow Springs to be the nearest thing to her idea of purgatory. She certainly did not plan to stay here long.

Swedish immigrant Crissa Engleson fled Boston hoping to start a new life, unknown and unencumbered, on the American frontier. The quiet gold mining town of Willow Springs in the Utah desert seemed the perfect spot—until the intrigue of her past and rivalries of the town’s leading families enveloped her.

Unaware that a relentless bounty hunter is pursuing her, Crissa falls in love with Drake Adams, a handsome Pony Express rider and the son of an influential mine owner. While Drake returns Crissa’s interest, their courtship is thwarted by the pursuit of one of Drake’s rivals, who may be motivated more by malice than by love.

To realize her dreams, Crissa must confront her painful past and fight for her future head-on.

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Soda Springs

Series: Pure Romance,


Also in this series: Sophia, The Second Season, To Suit a Suitor, Mischief & Manors, Unexpected Love, Lies & Letters, The Darkest Summer, The Secret of Haversham House, Love and Secrets at Cassfield Manor


Genres: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Western Fiction


Published by Sweetwater Books

on 12 August, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 231

Carolyn Steele

Author Biography:

Born and raised in Utah, Carolyn Steele was introduced to western novels at a very young age by her grandfather, the son of a gold miner. She has been writing technical and marketing communications for most of her adult life. Her nonfiction articles have appeared in numerous national magazines. She earned her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Utah.

Married and living in Salt Lake City, Utah, Carolyn loves researching obscure history then weaving it into stories. She also enjoys family dinners with her children and grandchildren, photography, travel, golf, reading, and all forms of needlework.

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Frontier Americana : Small Townes & Immigrants:

The American West was such a difficult area for settlers, frontier families, and those who were striving to make a new beginning inside their lives for the better. It is in a small towne on the route of the Pony Express, we enter the life of an immigrant (Crissa) who is living away from her parents in order to make a proper living for all of them. Here on the outskirts of the wilds of the West, we discover that for all the graces of small towne living one of the worst bits is uncovering projected jealousy through misunderstandings! I appreciated how the dusty and exhausted mining towne was brought to life, to show a reflection of difference between those who worked the mines and the townesfolk themselves, who attempted to provide the civilisation! It is rather interesting that I am reading about a second towne on the edge of elsewhere directly supported by a mine! The last story of course, was Flight to Coorah Creek, where I found myself over the moon in love with the inhabitants and the life of an ambulance aeroplane pilot! The similarities had me in a fit of smiles as I started to read Willow Springs!

I always have a particularly keen interest in ‘second chance stories’ and ‘stories of new beginnings’, where people are working hard to redeem their past and/or simply want to take off someplace new and forge a different kind of life than they had previously. I love the adventurous spirit as much as the true strength of belief that leaving everything you knew behind in your old life was necessary to create a new future; once you find where your feet land. Small towne fiction is always an ideal setting where characters can interact and yet, remain apart from each other as long as necessary at the same time. Observing the inter-dramatics of where the towne bends or yields rather to whichever new presence has arrived is part of the delight taking the journey through the story itself! Most of our ancestors, including my own, took it upon themselves to dig deep and strive towards seeking out new land, new experiences, and a new way of living when they originally came over from the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond. How lovely then it is to curl inside a historical story just a few stones outside our own living history to walk inside a person’s shoes who dared to do what our own ancestors did!

My Review of Willow Springs:

Inns, boarding houses, and restaurants were the bare necessities to keep frontier life on the cusp of being a bit more self-sufficient on a similar vein as their neighbouring large cities. I love how the action of hosting and waitressing inside of a small mining towne opens this inspiring romance to the expanding picture that surrounds Willow Springs! A towne where an unforgiving and oft-times judgmental township of residents eagerly jump on a bandwagon if it suits their fancy to cast aspersions on someone they hardly know properly! The fitting strength of determined grit and the lift of faith in knowing she was on the right path towards supporting her own kin, is what roots Crissa Engleson into the heart of the story; and sympathetically into a reader’s heart as well. Here we find her balancing an honest day’s work against the joys of spending time with the Inn Owner’s (Molly) children. The fact that she finds the dashingly handsome and coy mannerisms of one of the Pony Express Riders rounds out the introductory joy!

Most Western dramas have a darker shade of a soul living near to the main characters, and Steele doesn’t disappoint by including Garth Wight into the folds of the chapters! An ego-ridden brute of a bloke bent against years of angst, drunken reverie, and a path never materialising in front of him to stake a claim for gold, Garth is the type of fellow any girl would be smart to avoid! His bold and curt behaviour towards Crissa was not only uncalled for but it stirred the stoking fire of where the arc of the climax might take this sweet girl from Sweden! Seeing her speak in her native tongue as she attempts to make sense out of her everyday blights and adventures warmed my spirit as I appreciate when speakers of different languages can find their own voices to be heard in fiction. It gives a proper sense of dimension and an equality in literature that strives to reflect the world’s melting pot.

Crissa’s friendship with the Inn’s cook Marida, gives the most comedic moments by far, as the cook is never far from giving her a jolt of common sense intermixed with a reassuring ear when life is turnt upside down. Marida is feisty as she is nurturing, although I’d wager she’d rather be known for the former! Yet, when Crissa was celebrating the good news Marida had given her about her beau, she internally could not help but stop to wonder if a similar life of happiness was indeed meant for her own path. It was in this moment of uncertainty laced with thoughts of the past, Crissa was taken off guard and attacked quite brutally by Garth. His arrogance and aggression left her shattered emotionally, physically bruised, and inside the tight-knit community she found her footing was lost; the eyes of the towne judging her negatively though she did nothing wrong. This is typical of the era in which Crissa lived, but for me, I felt for her dearly in this moment as she was attempting to align herself with a solid group of trusted friends whilst she tried to make Willow Springs her home.

On the footheels of that fated night behind her, Crissa in true fashion to settle down the rumours had to make a quick exit out of towne, which led her directly back to a loving couple who were her surrogate family. Seeing the landscape of Salt Lake City (a city I’ve only seen visually on camera and/or during the Winter Olympics coverage) is painted beautifully for any reader who loves to knit inside of a backdrop which has a propensity for natural beauty. Steele gives out such a breath of wonder for a part of the country I know very little about, I nearly felt as though I were breathing in the vistas as Crissa observed them herself.

Your heart stirs as you read the story, as the drama continues to unfold at an alarming rate, especially after a precognitive dream cuts Crissa’s visiting plans short. The pulse of emotion is tight as the successive chapters reveal a bit of darkness looming over her young shoulders, and a bit of anguished grief as well. Her heart swells and bleeds through the intrepid sorrow of losing a dear friend of hers and in an attempt to bring normalcy to the children left behind, she starts to further question if her own path is going to be set to rights. The inclusion of her letters and her innermost thoughts as she tries to work out the best path through spiritual guidance and a cluster of hope tethered to her frazzled nerves, Crissa once more has to pick up the pieces of her life.

Steele has written an aptly real and raw romantic suspense novel, as just when you think every wicked and evil reason Crissa has turnt to live outside the shadow of her past, something new arises to draw her closer into harm. The vileness of how human behaviour can be quickly turnt to malice under the right circumstances knits the suspense into the backdrop of the romance; half budding and delayed from blooming. Intermixed into the thick of it is a beautiful yet deadly storyline about herbalists and the various uses of apothecary knowledge. All of this accumulates to a thundering run towards the ending — where your lurching forward with eager anticipation and with a bit of shock horror how one woman’s plight could take her so far deep into the psychosis of the human mind.

On the writing style of Carolyn Steele:

As soon as I started to read this novel, I was instantly thinking about a new Hallmark Channel tv series (thankfully, renewed for a second season!) When Calls The Heart (also a small mining towne); mostly as women in both story-lines have to prove their moxy, their faith, and their willingness to forge a life in a place where ‘rough and ready’ has yet to docile the wilds of the West. Her gentleness in conviction of a faith-centered life is a true lift of joy to read, as she allows her characters the grace to experience their lives with a spirituality that shines through their actions. The inner-workings of seeing where their personal thoughts lie (especially Crissa’s) on how their life is stitching together is a bit of bliss, as each shared moment of their internal world is written in italics (the same with the letters). The full effect of the latter years of the 19th Century are representative of the dialogue exchanges Crissa has with Marida, as Marida’s accented (of Italian decent) English is a bit different from Crissa’s who talks more like an avid reader than a regular commoner.

A sturdy voice for a romance, Carolyn Steele’s debut novel is wrapped inside the Inspirational category of offerings creating a heart-warming fixture for any reader of clean romance. The fact it happens to be the launching novel for the new series of stories under the ‘Pure Romance’ line of novels by Cedar Fort, extends the joy of finding it. The joy of reading the story was a double-fold blessing as the lulling canopy of reading this novel helped to ease my own tensions from being a new self-hosted book blogger. I felt a lot of anxiety consume me over the weekend, as the hours spent sorting out a new hosted site and a heap of upgrades made me feel a bit harried to say the least. Soaking inside Willow Springs, is like walking inside the comfort of a familiar tale of a family friend whose strength and spirit helped renew your own. Reading is such a calming balm to me and this story was a pure joy to consume. I cannot wait to discover what Ms. Steele will pen next nor to follow the joy of where the Pure Romance line will be taken through Cedar Fort!

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of Cedar Fort, Inc:

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Virtual Road Map of “Willow Springs” Blog Tour can be found here:

Willow Springs Blog Tour with Cedar Fort

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Click-through to mark your calendars for:

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{SOURCES: Author photograph, Author Biography, Book Synopsis and Book Cover of “Willow Springs” were provided by the author Carolyn Steele and used with permission. The Cedar Fort badge was provided by Cedar Fort, Inc. and used by permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Bout of Books
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Posted Sunday, 24 August, 2014 by jorielov in 19th Century, Apothecary, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brigham Young, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Deception Before Matrimony, Domestic Violence, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Equality In Literature, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Life in Another Country, Mormonism, Naturopathic Medicine, Salt Lake City, Small Towne Fiction, Utah, Western Fiction, Western Romance, Widows & Widowers